The 2023 season has unraveled for the Buffalo Bills, as they’ve gone from being a trending Super Bowl contender to a team losing their grip on their AFC East dominance at 6-6 overall. And now, they’re facing questions about the future of head coach Sean McDermott.
One NFL insider, Tim Graham of The Athletic, cleared the air about McDermott’s Western New York future on Thursday.
NFL Insider Says Sean McDermott’s Job Is Safe
Graham asked around the organization to see if McDermott would remain with the team that hired him back in 2017.
Graham revealed that team president Terry Pegula’s name was involved in the conversation involving McDermott when he asked about the coach’s future.
“Although additional calamities may befall McDermott over the next month and half and alter the organization’s plans, four sources familiar with Terry Pegula’s thinking tell The Athletic the Bills’ owner has neither the desire nor plans to make a coaching change. The sources requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record,” Graham wrote.
The Bills insider then added, “Asked if there was any chance Pegula would fire McDermott, two of the sources replied ‘Zero.’ The other two sources said they would be shocked if Pegula made such a move. All four sources have intimate knowledge of the Pegula-McDermott relationship.”
It sounds like McDermott still has the vote of confidence inside the organization despite the Bills being 6-6 and three games behind the division-leading Miami Dolphins.
How Bad Has It Gotten in Buffalo? Pivotal Low Moments That Have Shaped Bills’ 2023 Season
McDermott has won over “Bills Mafia” in the past. After all, he owns a winning percentage of .624 and is the head coach responsible for breaking the franchise’s long playoff drought. He’s produced five playoff appearances after that 17-year dry spell. He also took them back to the conference title game before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2019 season.
However, his 2023 team was met with the high expectations of finally ending their Vince Lombardi Trophy drought. Yet, the Bills have witnessed some pivotal low moments that have shaped a rather disappointing 2023:
- The team opened the season with a 22-16 overtime loss to the New York Jets — on a night the Jets lost Aaron Rodgers for the season to an Achilles tear on the opening drive.
- Buffalo then lost to a lowly New England Patriots team 29-25, which became the Pats’ second win of the season.
- Following back-to-back losses to the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos, the franchise made the decision to fire offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Buffalo was held below 23 points in both defeats.
- The Bills recently blew a 10-point lead to the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, ultimately falling 37-34 on Sunday.
McDermott, a defensive guru, has even seen a regression in his defense. His run defense is 20th in yards allowed after ranking fifth last year.
The 49-year-old head coach sounds like he still has his supporters. However, Buffalo missing the postseason could alter that support, especially if Buffalo endures any more letdowns with five regular-season games left.
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